Tenmei: Part 1

[[Random thoughts ahead.]]

Though I enjoy Eberron quite a bit, I also like the idea of gradually biulding my own campaign setting, one point at a time. The first such area was Erui, a land infused with spirits and severed from the rest of the world by the World Serpent after the Dawn War as a kind of safe haven for said spirits and fey creatures.

Watching a lot of anime, Kung Fu Panda, and wuxia films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has gotten me really stoked about running an asian-themed campaign, and so I've begun working on the second area in my homebrew setting, Tenmei.

Unlike Oriental Adventures, I didnt want it to feel like Japan-in-Dungeons & Dragons. Rather, I wanted to stick to D&D's guns and incorporate some flavor since I like players being able to play whatever the hell they want. In that regard I'm not going to inherently disallow any races or classes, so paladins, druids, dwarves, etc are all in. They might end up having appearances and/or themes changed, but you can still play, say, a dwarf paladin with no trouble at all.

For equipment, I'm going to just do reskins. I hate the idea of oriental weapons being inherently exotic for no real reason, especially when so many sucked ass in 3rd Edition. I figure that characters native to Tenmei will likely use weapons from there, while characters that arent wont use them anyway. If they do, oh well, I dont require characters to be proficient with dwarven-crafted waraxes, or elven-crafted longswords. Some might be superior, but obviously by virtue of having something awesome that it can do.

To me this evokes a similar feel to Planescape, where adventurers might have varied equipment: some asian, some western, and even a few pieces made by differing races. Like Planescape, I want Tenmei to feel like it has a history and have a "lived-in" feel. Its not isolated from the rest of the world. This also helps justify having all the races and classes possible. Even if the entire party is made up of characters from other parts of the world, oh well: they're adventurers. They stand out.

In Scales of War our party looks like (as Josh puts it), "a goddamn random encounter table." Thats fiiine by me. ^_^

That being said, I'll need to dust off Oriental Adventures and find that chart in the back that has all the weapon comparisons. That way if players want a katana, tanto, no-dachi, or tetsumo, they'll know the best fit for it (and in some cases they might be superior, but at least the feat will be worth it).

So at this point I'm going to have to write up some character creation guidelines to make sure everyone is on the same page: what fits best, what needs work and some examples, etc. This way they can make the character that they want with minimal book-reading/referencing/fuss.

Of course, this also means that I'll need to get around to writing a few thematic races like nezumi, spirits, maybe some other random shit I come across, and of course actual adventures. Thankfully the term is almost over. @_@

I dont like to plan shit that I'm not going to use. I dont world-built for fun, but for practical purposes. I write stuff that has a purpose in the campaign world, and if there isnt a need for it I'm not going to bother with it as I have a busy life and stuff to write that needs to be in the game for it to run properly. What I'm getting at is that Tenmei only exists insofar as I want to write another adventure path and want it to have an asian flair. What is this adventure path about? Well...

My general method for planning an adventure path is to just work with some concepts and then build the setting around that. I feel that by having a map in the first place limits your imagination (which is why I get torn in running Eberron, though in its defense its veeery open and vague), though sometimes a map also inspires ideas or locations that I didnt think about before. In the end I prefer to plan as much as I can without a map, draw the map to cater to my plans, and then let it influence me after the fact. Eliminster loves to map, and so drew one up before I had any concrete plans in mind. Here's the first draft.

So...now its onto working on adventure ideas, a campaign outline (at least for the Heroic tier), a home-base, and some original content. Yay. :-3


  1. Sounds fun! Did anything more happen with it?

  2. not yet, we are currently discussing what to do with it. But rest assured something will be done soon.

  3. Any good asian-adventure resources would be handy. :-P


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